Living in Ireland
What is the everyday life of the Irish like? What is different in Ireland than in Germany? The first thing we notice is that the cars are driving on the left! As in Great Britain, there is left-hand traffic and therefore cars have their wheel on the right. Anyone traveling in the country usually has to squeeze through very narrow roads, which also have poor visibility because stone walls and hedges limit them.
In the country some Irish live in a cottage (pronounced: Kottitsch). This is a simple building without a basement, mostly thatched and made of natural stone. But of course there are also newer, modern houses. Overall, although many Irish live in their own house, they are often rather small. Most Irish people go to the supermarket to shop. As with us, you pay with the euro there.
Different dimensions, different signs
Until 2005, the same system of measurement was used in Ireland as in Great Britain. Distances were given in miles, weights in “stones” and “pounds” or height in “feet”. In the meantime, most of the signs have been changed to indicate kilometers. For signs without a unit of measurement, miles are also meant!
Other signs are also noticeable with their inscription: they are often bilingual. You can see a sign like this in the slideshow below. The lettering is English and Irish. Since the children learn Irish at school, most Irish are bilingual.
In their free time, grown-up Irish people like to go to a pub (read: pab), i.e. a pub or restaurant. Live music is often offered there. Many a guest sits down with the musicians and simply plays with them or sings along or starts dancing! The most famous song that is often played in the pubs is probably “Whiskey in the Jar”.
During the day, the Irish also like to spend their free time outside. Cycling, horse riding and hiking are just as popular as golfing. Irish ball sports Gaelic football and hurling are very popular, as are rugby and soccer. The Irish are considered to be particularly hospitable people.
Eating in Ireland
What do the Irish eat?
Irish cuisine is traditionally based on meat – mainly sheep, but also beef and chicken – and dairy products. In addition to milk, cheese, quark and butter are also often used. There are also potatoes and some vegetables, especially cabbage, but also carrots, peas, leeks and parsnips. Fish is not only eaten on the coast. Salmon is especially popular.
The kitchen is rather hearty. Stew is popular, especially the “Irish Stew”. It contains lamb and potatoes, often also carrots. Meat is fried or braised as a steak and is then called roast. There are potatoes in all possible forms such as fried potatoes, baked potatoes, French fries or mashed potatoes.
Full Irish Breakfast – the full traditional Irish breakfast – consists of eggs (scrambled or fried), bacon, fried black and liver sausage slices, sausages, baked beans and grilled tomato. There is also toast and jam. The Irish prefer to drink tea with them, and orange juice too. However, this hearty breakfast has now been replaced by lighter variants and, if at all, is eaten more on the weekend.
What are Boxty and Coddle?
Boxty and coddle are typical Irish dishes. Boxty is a potato pancake made from both cooked and raw, grated potatoes. Other ingredients are flour, baking powder, buttermilk and sometimes egg. The boxty is then fried in the pan on both sides. You can find a recipe from Boxty in our participation tip!
Coddle is a kind of leftover food. That is why there is no specific recipe. Most of them contain bacon and pork sausages as well as potatoes and onions. It is only seasoned with salt and pepper and possibly parsley.
Cabbage is a popular ingredient in Ireland’s kitchens. You need him for Colcannon, for example. It’s a dish made from mashed potatoes and cabbage. One can Kale (Kale) or cabbage (Cabbage take it). Milk, butter and salt are added. You can also add spring onions, leeks, onions and chives.
Bacon and Cabbage means bacon and cabbage. There are also potatoes and often a white sauce. You can also find a photo of this dish below.
Holidays in Ireland
St. Patrick’s Day
One of the most important holidays in Ireland is March 17th. This is namely the day of St. Patrick, St. Patrick’s Day. He is considered the patron saint of Ireland. Because its color is green and its symbol is the shamrock, many Irish wear green clothes or adorn themselves with shamrocks. Parades take place in many cities, including Dublin of course.
According to payhelpcenter, Halloween has been celebrated in Germany for several years. Many think that the custom came from America, but it originated in Ireland. Irish emigrants brought it to the United States, from where it then spread back to Europe.
The word Halloween comes from All Hallows’ Eve, which means the evening before All Saints Day. Because Halloween is celebrated on October 31st, while the Catholic holiday of All Saints’ Day is celebrated on November 1st.
The custom of placing hollowed out pumpkins with a candle in them also comes from Ireland. Children going from house to house asking for food is also old and was practiced in Ireland as early as the 16th century. However, the custom of collecting candy and playing pranks originated in the United States.
The Irish also celebrate Christmas! After all, around 90 percent Christians live here. The Irish also put up a Christmas tree, but this happens at the beginning of December. The streets are also decorated with fairy lights.
Irish children do not receive their presents until the morning of Christmas Day, on December 25th. Traditionally, on the evening of December 24th, all family members hang stockings by the fireplace or on the stairs that Santa Claus is supposed to fill. By the way, Santa Claus is called Santy here. The families also put candles in the window – one candle for each family member.
The big Christmas dinner also takes place on December 25th. Most often a turkey is served. There is also plum pudding, which is also called Christmas pudding here.
Boxing Day is St. Stephen’s Day, the day of St. Stephen. On this day, children dress up as “Wren boys” (Wren Boys). They wear straw masks and costumes over colorful clothing. They go from house to house to collect candy or money.
Merry Christmas means Happy Christmas in English and Nollaig Shona Duit in Irish !